How/why did I get a letter from a prison inmate that I never met or heard of before
By - gouttrout
Did you have anything in the newspapers that had a name and address? I filed a police report about a missing checkbook and my info was put into our local paper. Not long after I started getting letters from a prison inmate.
This happened to me once. I was in the paper for something and it mentioned my employer so an inmate sent a letter to my work.
Same happened to me. I had an article in the paper about my shop and I got a Christmas card from a rapist in jail.
Hmm.. not that l know of. At that time I had nothing in my name.
yeah, one of my good friends recently got a letter from an inmate in a state very far away from ours who knew his job and name because he was featured in a newspaper article due to his job. he (the inmate) seemed to be on the lookout for character witnesses for a parole hearing. i would bet your name is somewhere public but fairly innocuous like that OP.
Did you have a bully?
They may have signed you up for a prison penpal.
Hmm. I was out of school for 2 years by that time, so not THAT big of a bully.. but, maybe!?
Do you know both your parents? Family?
Yes, and all my family is fairly close, so Id have heard about it. It wasn't them.
I’ve had a stalker give my address to another inmate to write me instead of him writing me (he couldn’t write at the time thanks to a DVO at first but later a protection order).
However, it doesn’t have to be a stalker or even an enemy/bully. Could just be an acquaintance passing along your info to someone else. Someone inside or outside of jail.
That’s exactly what I said , people did the same thing especially at that age when I was in.
No, but my mom is a devout Catholic, however she didn't know who it was
Oh my gosh. This could be it! She cleaned the priest's house weekly, and I'm sure she vented about my "troubles" a few times.
Did he know any other personal stuff about you other than your name and address?
(That's a really interesting situation, it'd be great if you let us know if you suspect something)
I think he knew my age.. I can't remember 100%.
Did your parents freak out that you wrote back to him?
Because they didn't know? Or bc they were ok with it?
any family members or family members friends who were in jail at the time?
I own a tattoo shop with another artist. He’s moved shops 3 times in his career and every time about 2 months after he starts he gets a letter from some Russian guy who tries to rope him into some shady business and a letter from an inmate in Arizona. He has a very Nordic sounding name and the inmate seems to think that makes him an expert in all things rune-like and white supremacist-like. We don’t know how he got found, but in our line of work the old days of biker gangs and organized crime aren’t that far in the past.
As someone else said is normally, and especially at that time, the only possibility for (US) inmates to get informations from Newspapers or TV or if someone else told them about you by writing a letter or talking to them on the phone.
I wouldn´t worry that much about it. They are trapped human beings in an extreme situation and generally are looking for positive outside connections.
But they are quite often still there for a reason (violent crime for example) and can be very manipulative if not outright dangerous. So be careful, I would have advised you to simply ignore the letter.
Building a connection with them and letting them down if they eventually get out could imo be quite dangerous. Heck, even just being in their life could be quite dangerous.
PS: You can look up for what this person was incarcerated online if you are in the USA but I seriously advise you to not reach out regardless.
Is it possible that he was your biological father? Not sure if you ever got info on his age...
Nope, he was around my age.
May be he saw you somewhere and liked you and got your address when he was out free before going to the prison.
I was in prison and people used to get bored and look for people , so they may have got your name and address off someone you knew or who knew you that was in prison.
It would make sense because that’s when I went to prison and I used to get bored and ask people for random people to try and find a pen own . I was 19-20 at the time.
Nothing nefarious or insidious though, just bored with time
My first thought was this person is related to you but your family doesnt want you to know about it. Like a troublesome brother or possibly even a true biological father (sorry if I'm way off base, I mean no offense, just popped into my head)
I feel like I’m watching from the outside and thinking - this is so clear why don’t they see it?
This must be a family member and I read a comment that asked if your family was upset or creeped out about this and you said no they didn’t care.
That had to be because they knew who this was otherwise the immediate reaction would be to tell you not only to not answer but report this. He also would have either kept writing or given an explanation. If he was the kind of creep that chose a random person and researched them became obsessed with them, he’d never give up. That’s one thing creepy criminals never do.
I grew up without a father and when I was younger I used to write him letters that I’d never send. Those letters would have answered all of the questions this guy asked you because I assumed he’d want to know me. Maybe you keep asking yourself about this for a reason and maybe you need to ask your immediate family.
In my opinion this wasn’t some church leak of information or some random thing, if it was they’d only have your name and address.
Instead this was someone who wanted to know you without you knowing them and when you refused they left you because it was better for you to be mad and confused then to know what they did. Ask questions and eventually you’ll get answers.
Maybe you’ve got someone out there who isn’t perfect but has always loved you. It could be a father, uncle, brother or even a cousin. Either way it will give you closure in some sense.
It definitely wasn't family. I know my family. It was probably, definitely the outreach program.
you signed up for something online somewhere. your info is commodity in the advertisement industry. prisoners have access to all kinds of shit. i'll bet your name was on a list and this dude just took a shot in the dark at you. possibly even a chatbot